97X Next Big Thing Throwback: 97X Next Big Thing 5

The 2005 97X Next Big Thing took place Sunday, December 4th in Coachman Park in Clearwater. This was the final year the 97X Next Big Thing was in Coachman Park, having moved to Tampa’s Ford Amphitheatre in 2006. The show consisted of one of the strongest lineups since the first Next Big Thing in 2004. Three of the day’s bands would later return to headline a 97X Next Big Thing.  These bands included Thirty Seconds To Mars, Rise Against and My Chemical Romance. The day kicked off with Motion City Soundtrack and Anberlin. The Alkaline Trio hit the stage at 12:35 in front of a crowd of over 12,000 which included members of other bands who wanted to watch their set from side-stage, including Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath. Thirty Seconds To Mars’ set was the one that everyone was talking about the next day. Midway through one of their first songs, Jared Leto scaled the NBT stage scaffolding and stood at the very top of the stage, exclaiming  “I wish you could see how beautiful you look from up here Tampa!” Their set, their first ever in Tampa, featured a blistering performance of their hit single “Attack.” This would be the first of four NBT appearances that the band made (As of 2020). Our Lady Peace performed a special “97X Green Room” acoustic set and dedicated it to Andrew McMahon who had recently announced his cancer diagnosis. Rise Against hit the 97X NBT stage at 3:20 with their first NBT performance, they would go on to perform a total of four times, including twice as headliner. (As of 2020) Their set included an acoustic performance of “Swing Life Away” and they closed with “Give It All.” Two bands that were staples of Alternative radio in 2005 followed, Story of the Year and Trapt. Story of The Year’s set included a medley including Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Going To Take It”, Guns & Roses “Sweet Child of Mine”, Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and Boston’s “More Than A Feeling.” Trapt’s performance included their hit “Headstrong.”  My Chemical Romance who had to cancel their 2004 performance, took the stage at 6:40 and rolled through an hour of hits from their first two albums including “Helena”, “I’m Not Okay (I Promise), “The Ghost of Me” and more. My Chemical Romance would return to headline NBT in 2006 and 2010. The show was headlined by Staind whose hour long set was packed with hits including “It’s Been A While”, “Mudshovel”, “For You”, “Outside”, “Fade”, “So Far Away” and more.
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